Friday Night Lights at Red Grange Field

Craig NuzzoCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2008

How good is your high school football team?

This past Friday, my high school team shut out Glenbard East 40-0.

The fact is simple: When I was a senior at Wheaton Warrenville South High School two football seasons ago, I attended every single football game on the schedule. I wasn't just one of those crazy, loud, annoying, "super-senior-fans" that went to the game just 'cause—well, in a way I was—I truly cared about my team.

Maybe it was the fact that the Wheaton-Warrenville area loves football, or our team was simply amazing, or the unforgettable tailgating experience, or just simply that there was nothing better to do on a Friday night.

The fact of the matter was I looked forward to every single Friday for those 14 weeks of the football campaign.

I really loved going to both the home and away games.

Not only did we attend the away games as a school, but our entire "visiting" crowd was also much larger than the home crowd.

It was an entire crowd appreciation that I may never experience again.

In the 2006-2007 season (my senior year), the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers were undefeated in their 8A class, stomping out opponents with ease. That same season the Tigers went all the way to the State Championships at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL.

The Tigers beat the Mount Carmel Caravan, 44-21. Prior to the game, the media had declared the Tigers the underdog.

It was an amazing sight.

Why were the Tigers so successful?

Parents say that the Wheaton area has an excellent park district program, plus many financially stable family incomes that could afford putting their kids into club sports.

Most say it was because of one student, their running back, No. 25, Dan Dierking.

Currently, Dierking plays for the Purdue Boilermakers as a third string running back. He rushed for 181 yards in 42 attempts while scoring two touchdowns last year at Purdue.  He was also used periodically on the Boilermakers' special teams squad.

His senior year at WWS, Dierking rushed for an impressive 2,191 yards, with 31 of his carries making it into the end zone. He made Tiger alum Red Grange look like a backup, breaking his all-time TD count at Wheaton Warrenville South.

Any other reasons the Tigers were so unstoppable?

The coach of the team, Ron Muhitch.

Muhitch is currently serving his seventh career season at WWS. He has gone 69-14 to this day.

Last year, both the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers and their rivals, Naperville North Huskies, had a record of 13-1.

On Oct. 19, 2007, the Tigers won a very close game against the Huskies, a score of 41-42, at Red Grange Field.

The only loss the Tigers experienced last year was the 7A State Championship game, by a score of three to seven. Note: The Tigers dropped to 7A from 8A due to population change amongst the student body.

As these teams prepare to play this Friday at 7:30 P.M., many will be watching in Naperville, IL. With a "W-Flag" this game could mark the fourth straight DuPage Conference Valley title for the Tigers.

Let the high school hype begin.